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somerset16 (7)It was memories of 2000 as we approached the Somerset Stages with snow falling on the Quantocks. It didn’t settle however and it was a largely dry day which saw Luke Francis & John Roberts (Evo IX) fight a day long battle with Charles Payne & Carl Williamson (Fiesta). Francis took an early lead through the first two stages to lead by 8 seconds before Payne got his first stage win at Chargot. The pendulum swung back before Porlock where the 2nd run saw Francis drop time and his lead cut to just 3 seconds. A push on the first few stages of the afternoon gravel loop saw Francis extend his lead and he eventually won by 8 seconds from Payne.

Karl & Guy Simmons (Impreza WRC) took a distant 3rd overall only just holding off Martyn & Dawn England (Fiesta R5+) by two seconds. It was an impressive gravel debut for local man England in his new car, which saw him set two fastest stage times along the way. Gavin Edwards & Caron Tomlinson (Escort MkII) took 2WD victory by just 10 seconds from Boyd Kershaw & Bryan Hull (Escort MkII), after a good battle all event long. Phil Burton & Mal Capstick (Escort MkII) were just over 20 seconds further back, completing the top 3.

In the 1400’s Julian Wilkes & Will Rutherford-Child (Nova) were winners by almost 4 minutes from Freddy & Toby Brick (Nova). It had been their Dad who kept Wilkes honest for the most of the event. Dave Brick & Keaton Williams (Nova) had been leading the 1400 class up until the first run up Porlock, before Wilkes took over. A big push through the afternoons gravel stages saw Dave Brick’s Nova cry enough on the penultimate stage and the battle was over. Making a mockery of the seeding and 3rd in the 1400’s were James Ball & Gavin Gwillym Haycock (Ignis) just over have a minute behind the Brick brothers.

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